Michigan is a state that has a panel of four people, two Republicans and two Democrats, to certify election results. The Trump camp wanted the board to not certify Michigan’s presidential results even though Jos Biden easily won by a margin of 50.6-47.8% or about 150,000 votes. But one of the Republicans Aaron Van Langevelde voted to certify and the other abstained, resulting in Biden’s victory being confirmed by a 3-0 vote. I wrote about the heated debate back on November 24th..
So now the Michigan Republican party has decided to not renominate Van Langevelde for a second term when his term expires at the end of this month. He is unrepentant.
The Republican who withstood partisan pressure and voted to certify the results of the Nov. 3 election in Michigan says he is not surprised the GOP has not nominated him for another term on the Board of State Canvassers.
“Time will tell that those who spread misinformation and tried to overturn the election were wrong, and they should be held responsible for the chaos and confusion they have caused,” Aaron Van Langevelde said in a Monday statement.
“As tensions escalated, some political leaders — blinded by power and partisanship —urged the board to withhold certification based on unproven allegations of voter fraud, even though we had no legal authority to do so.”
The board “was essentially asked to disregard the oath of office, to abandon its long-standing ministerial role certifying elections, and to ignore a clear legal duty along with 100 years of legal precedent,” he said. “We were asked to take power we didn’t have.”
The die-hards in the Trump Republican party do not give a damn about oaths of office, laws, norms of behavior, or even basic decency. They just want to win at any cost. They will try to purge from their ranks any Republican who is deemed to not be willing to go to the mattresses for Trump. It will be interesting to see what happens to Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger and election official Gabriel Sterling who refused to ‘find’ 11,800 Trump votes from somewhere to overturn Biden’s win in that state, and to the governor Brian Kemp, once one of Trump’s favorites, who kept a very, very, low profile during that dust up. Although he did not come out with support for his secretary of state, the fact that he was not loudly supporting Trump will be seen as a betrayal. Kemp and Raffensperger are up for re-election in 2022 and what happens to them will be a good bellwether of where the Republican party is headed.
Meanwhile the Arizona Republican party has censured those Republicans whom they feel have been disloyal to Trump, people such as John McCain’s widow Cindy McCain, former senator Jeff Flake, and governor Doug Ducey who certified Biden’s win in that state.
Meanwhile Fox News fired Chris Stirewalt, the person in charge of their election desk on election night because Fox News was the first to call Arizona for Biden, infuriating Trump who called the network and demanded of Rupert Murdoch that the call be retracted. They did not do so then, standing by their election desk people, but later fired Stirewalt. He has written an op-ed giving his story.
I was proud of our being first to project that Joe Biden would win Arizona, and very happy to defend that call in the face of a public backlash egged on by former President Trump. Being right and beating the competition is no act of heroism; it’s just meeting the job description of the work I love.
Having worked in cable news for more than a decade after a wonderfully misspent youth in newspapers, I can tell you the result: a nation of news consumers both overfed and malnourished. Americans gorge themselves daily on empty informational calories, indulging their sugar fixes of self-affirming half-truths and even outright lies.
Whatever the platform, the competitive advantage belongs to those who can best habituate consumers, which in the stunted, data-obsessed thinking of our time, means avoiding at almost any cost impinging on the reality so painstakingly built around them. As outlets have increasingly prioritized habituation over information, consumers have unsurprisingly become ever more sensitive to any interruption of their daily diet.
The rebellion on the populist right against the results of the 2020 election was partly a cynical, knowing effort by political operators and their hype men in the media to steal an election or at least get rich trying. But it was also the tragic consequence of the informational malnourishment so badly afflicting the nation.
When I defended the call for Biden in the Arizona election, I became a target of murderous rage from consumers who were furious at not having their views confirmed.
Having been cosseted by self-validating coverage for so long, many Americans now consider any news that might suggest that they are in error or that their side has been defeated as an attack on them personally. The lie that Trump won the 2020 election wasn’t nearly as much aimed at the opposing party as it was at the news outlets that stated the obvious, incontrovertible fact.
I remain confident that the current depredations of the digital revolution will pass, just as those of the telegraph, radio and broadcast television did. Americans grew into those media and providers learned to meet the demands of a more sophisticated marketplace. That’s the work that I’ve always aimed to do and hope to be part of for many years to come.
What tugs at my mind after seeing a mob of enthusiastic ignoramuses sack the Capitol, though, is whether that sophistication will come quickly enough when outlets have the means to cater to every unhealthy craving of their consumers.
Let’s hope he is right.
Matt G says
Um, Chris, what were you doing at Fox in the first place? Everything you just wrote is something we have known for decades. You are part of the problem, and are now try to claim you’re part of the solution.
The phrase “willing to go to the mattresses for Trump” conjures some rather disturbing imagery.
(To my knowledge, the idiom is “go to the mat for”, rather than “mattress”. I think the expression derives from wrestling lingo.)
consciousness razor says
An awfully self-serving way to tell the story, if you ask me. They did call Arizona much earlier than many others thought was appropriate. And all sorts of people were saying that, not just Trump or his supporters.
And “beating the competition”? He wasn’t running in a marathon, and you don’t “win” this sort of thing by finishing earlier than everyone else.
Thank you, DonDueed @ #2. I started to post nearly the same thing, but then saw yours. I need a serious mind cleanser now.
While I think that I agree that “go to the mat for” comes from wrestling (“make a strong combative effort [on behalf of]”, more or less), I have the vague memory that “go to the mattresses” is actually from mobster lingo — “to lie low; to stay out of trouble and out of sight because of previous high-profile behavior”
You could say that QAnon fans tried to go to the mattresses after the Capitol Hill riot.
Also note Liz Cheney, who may get driven out of her #3 spot in the House GOP for voting to impeach.
I have personal reasons to loathe Liz Cheney, but this may be the best thing she has done so far with her life, and of course she will get punished by the GOP for it.
Etymology:From Mario Puzo’s gangster novel The Godfather (1969). Those involved in such a conflict might be expected to stay in hideouts where they would sleep on mattresses rather than in beds. …
(idiomatic) To go to war; to use ruthless tactics; to act without restraint.
Mano Singham says
I heard the phrase ‘go the mattresses’ in The Godfather film and the book on which it was based and it connoted a willingness to wage an all-out protracted war.
To ‘go to the mat’ for something means to be willing to speak up for something that may be unpopular, so it is not as dire.
Hmmm, what does this remind me of?
Oh yeah, Stalin and his purges.
Where is the GOP Gulag going to be located?
The fundie xians and their subsidiary, the GOP, are both huge fans of Stalinism.
I won’t even bother to list the identities, including the cult of personality.
No good deed goes unpunished.
@ 9 raven
Stalin and his purges.
My though too but with the nagging thought that Stalin was alive and in power then.
Any purges after Stalin was to get rid of creatures like Beria and perhaps a few other Stalinist types.
Do you think the Republicans have misread the manual?